How to Avoid 4 Common New Hire Training Mistakes

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So, you’ve found your new hire. Congratulations! Time to get to work, new hire training time. Everyone’s excited, right? Well, maybe not. But, we can make onboarding as painless as possible. Once you’ve found the right person and they’ve accepted your offer, some employers might think their job is done. But oh, would they be mistaken. Not you, you know this is a process.

Training your new hire is going to take everyone’s participation and will require some dedication of time and resources. Younger generations have higher expectations of their employers, starting with training. Below, you’ll find some common training mistakes and how to avoid them.

Beyond these common mistakes, we have plenty of resources to help you onboard your new hire successfully. You can find them in our collection of new hire checklists, download here –

Now let’s get to it.

4 New Hire Training Mistakes and What to Do Instead

Mistake #1: Providing Limited Information

While information overload is a concern if you don’t give your new hire enough time to retain the information, don’t hold back either. Transparency is among one of the top priorities for employees. Whether it’s forgetting to tell them where the printer is or not really letting them in on the state of the company, its goals, etc., don’t hold back.

The state of your company should be discussed at a late point in the interview process, most likely some time after deciding this person is the right hire and before making your offer. A great candidate will ask you questions on where your company stands and where you plan to go in the future.

Once hired, your trainee will need lots of administrative and job specific information. Don’t assume they know anything yet. Make sure and cover all your bases but, don’t dump a pile of paperwork on them either. Ensure they have a clean and organized resource to reference when needed. This should include things like:

  • Job description
  • Offer letter
  • Benefits information
  • Office directory
  • Contact sheets
  • Etc.

For a closer look, see the New Hire Paperwork Checklist.

Mistake #2: Not Connecting Any Relevance

New hire’s want to know:

  1. How does this impact them and their career?
  2. How does this impact the company?
  3. How does this impact society in general?

Every step of your training process should be relevant in some way. Explain how each task is relevant to your new hire’s position and how it impacts the company. Explaining how this training is going to benefit their careers long-term will build trust and engagement.

Mistake #3: Giving The Wrong Kind of Feedback

The only way to make this mistake is to; A) not give any feedback or, B) give phony flattery. Lack of feedback will leave your new hire confused and insecure. People want to know if they’re doing a good job, or not. And that brings me to point B. Don’t give a “pat on the back” just to feel like you’ve given feedback. People want to know the truth, they don’t want to be overloaded with fake praise.

Insincere praise causes people to lose motivation which could lead to poor performance if you’re not careful. Be honest, if your new hire is awesome, tell them. But don’t go overboard. If something needs improvement, tell them that too. Give them solid thought-out advice on how to improve their skills and check back in with them after they’ve had a chance to implement your advice.


Mistake #4: Not Clearly Communicating Culture

Make sure you communicate the things that won’t be covered in a manual. Some of them being; company culture, traditions and regularities. Do people take a walk on morning or afternoon breaks? Is there a lunch outing every Tuesday? Do you have casual Fridays? Make sure they don’t have to figure this stuff out for themselves.

Some things should be brought up in the interview process to make sure the new hire actually wants to be a part of that culture. You wouldn’t want them figuring this out a month or two down the line. People need a sense of belonging and want to feel like they belong at work and among colleagues. Help them along by telling them how great it is to work at your company. Explain what makes you unique and let them decide for themselves if it’s a fit.

New hire training takes buy-in from your entire team and you can make it fun if you want to. Just try to avoid these common mistakes and you’ll be on the right track.

Don’t forget to download The Employer’s New Hire Pocket Guide.

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